North Korea assured that the US would face a "very grave situation," after President Joe Biden characterized the country as a threat before a joint session of Congress. "His comment obviously indicates his aim to continue pursuing the hostile policy against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as the US has done for over half a century," Kwon Jong Gun, a senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official, said.
North Korea warns the US following Biden's speech
On Sunday, Jake Sullivan, Biden's national security advisor, said that US diplomacy is not directed at hostility but at solutions and ultimately achieving complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. On ABC's This Week, Sullivan said, "We're prepared to engage in diplomacy against the overall target, but work on realistic steps that will help us make strides along the way toward that end.
On Friday, the White House announced that administration officials had conducted a summary of US strategy against North Korea, indicating that Biden intends to depart from the policies of his two most recent predecessors in attempting to halt North Korea's nuclear program. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, did not detail the review's conclusions. She did say that the administration would pursue a middle ground between Donald Trump's grand bargaining and Barack Obama's political patience approaches.
Psaki's remarks were not included in Kwon's argument. Following a string of high-profile nuclear and missile tests in 2016-17, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened a summit with Trump to discuss the future of his rapidly expanding nuclear arsenal. However, the diplomacy has been delayed for nearly two years due to disagreements about the amount of sanctions relief North Korea should get in exchange for modest denuclearization measures, the AP News reported.
Biden's approach does not seem to appeal to North Korea
According to Psaki, the Biden administration will take a calibrated, practical approach that is open to and will explore diplomacy with the DPRK and make reasonable progress that improves the United States, our allies, and deployed troops. Biden will host South Korean President Moon Jae-in on May 21, according to the White House. Biden is supposed to make a statement on his approach to North Korea, as per The Washington Examiner.
In January, Kim vowed to expand his nuclear arsenal and develop more high-tech missiles aimed at the United States mainland, saying that the fate of bilateral relations would be determined by whether the US abandoned its aggressive stance. For the first time in a year, he performed short-range ballistic missile testing in March, though he also banned more significant nuclear launches.
"The starting point of discussions will be a freeze in North Korean testing and development of nuclear capabilities and delivery systems if Pyongyang commits to working-level talks," said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.
Also, on Sunday, an unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman promised a heavy, separate response to a recent US State Department statement promising to call for transparency for the Kim regime's alarming human rights situation. He described the declaration as a warm-up for a full-fledged brawl with them, as per USA Today.
Meanwhile, Kim Yo Jong, Kim's powerful sister, blasted South Korea for allowing anti-Pyongyang leaflets to cross the border by a group of North Korean defectors in the South. Park Sang-Hak, the group's head, said Friday that he sent 500,000 leaflets by balloon last week, violating a recent, controversial South Korean law that makes such behavior illegal.
Related Article: North Korea Sends Warning to Biden Administration